Inspiration Comes From Many Sources

•April 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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As winter has turned to Spring I recognize the once tightly closed buds are beginning to slowly venture open to the bright blue skies and golden sun here in the desert.  Those same “buds” of inspiration, courage and passion are also opening within my own “self”.

The warm sun coaxes us out of the safety of the layer of leaves keeping us safe from an early frost or cold snap.  Nature doesn’t have to “think” about whether or not it is “time” to bloom…it just does.  How many times do we as human beings over-think every step we take as we move forward in life.  We analyze every decision to death…pulverizing it like a piece of meat with a mallot!  It is our fear keeping us frozen in winter and preventing us from blooming in Spring.

This past weekend I had the great pleasure and honor of listening to a young man speak who had lived a life of someone twice his age.  He not only survived being a young man who had been homeless and penniless…but he found the strength to dig deep, turn his life around…and flourish!  Talk about rags to riches!  More than turning his life around financially though…he learned from his past choices and beliefs, “leaned in” and is now teaching his profound personal discoveries.

Here are two of the simple yet powerful truths he shared with us:

A or B?  There are only 2 options!  C through Z do not exist.  Anything other than A or B are just excuses for why you are not making a clear decision.  Whatever is before you… either choose option A or option B.  It is black and white.

In the same tone… you are either PRO active or NO active.  Again – A or B?

How many times a day are we given clear choices…but we muddy the waters by thinking “well…if I do this, then it will affect that? and then that will change the outcome over here”… and on and on.  As I listened to Jeremy speak, I recognized how I have done this very thing so many times…each day!!  It was a serious “ah ha” moment!

He challenged each of us sitting in the room to ask ourselves “What is my destination?”  Is it a vacation destination, a home destination, a career destination, a lifestyle destination?  Whatever it may be… take action…be PROactive…and FEEL the thoughts of what you truly want in your life.  Stay on track and don’t waiver in your beliefs!  Persevere just like the “Old Man In The Sea”…and don’t give up!

I went home that day…and chose my own “Plan A”… How about you?  What will you choose today?  A or B?

In-Joy!

Holly

Photo:  Scott Rose

Affirmations: Tempered in Tough Times ~ Lee Ann Hopkins

•March 1, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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Affirmations and positive thinking are not bullies and judges.  When things are difficult and circumstances are not optimum, the discord between our wildly optimistic affirmations and the present feelings can seem cruel.  The affirmations almost feel like a playground taunt (“naaa-na-naanaa-nahhhh, you can’t get me!”) because the difference between now and that future goal, dream, changed behavior or circumstance is at odds with your present.

Let me give an example.  When you have an affirmation like, “I am delightfully happy in my new career as a ______” and you have just received three overdue bill notices, two rejections from jobs that were beneath your professional level, and your unemployment is about to run out, then the affirmation in the face of these circumstances seems zealously mean.  You might even feel dejected by your own attempts at cheer leading.  This is understandable.

The trouble is that your mind cannot accept the new vision for yourself in light of the present and, often, wants to be a nuisance with thoughts that put you down further: “See, I can’t even get a job that I can do in my sleep!” or “Things are bad because I am a fraud, a loser, etcetera.”  There could be any number of nasty comments zooming through your head.

None of this is helpful.

During tough times, I suggest that we take a different approach.  Instead of throwing affirmations overboard (as inaccurate and unrealistic), create space during these cloudy days for additional self-talk, tempered by the current circumstances, but mindful of our achievable goals.  We must be gentle with ourselves and take the current predicament seriously.  Step into the river of now with all that is going on.  Acknowledge it, instead of denying it.  Feel the disappointment, the sadness, the grief or whatever comes up for you.  Allow the moment to be okay.  Remind yourself that YOU are okay and that YOU can handle whatever is coming your way with grace and good form.  Most importantly, you are in fact, BECOMING that which your affirmations state–albeit, a bit slower than you may like.  The Universe wants good things for you.  Progress is being made in spite of our inability to see the future.

Remember too, that a straight line does not exist between our present and our goal.  Be kind to yourself on the journey and don’t give up your positive self-talk.  You may temper or adjust the affirmations, but don’t stop them!  Keep on, keeping on.  You are further on your way than you realize!

Thanks to my sister, Lee Ann Hopkins ~ Happy and Gay blogger ~ for these amazing insights   http://happyandgay.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/affirmations-tempered-in-tough-times/

Our Teachers Are People Too

•April 28, 2012 • 4 Comments

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” ~ Charles Caleb Colton

Throughout my life I have been extremely fortunate to have teachers who in my opinion have been the best of the best…whether I was competing my horses with a 5 time Olympian such as Anne Kursinski; building a business with personal mentors such as Bob Proctor, John Asaraff or Zig Ziglar; or delving into my own personal journey of self discovery with my shamanic teachers Alberto Villoldo, PhD, and Oscar Miro Quesada.

Over the last 20+ years I have heard or listened to comment after comment from people who had no personal knowledge of “who” these and other teachers are at their core, yet felt they had a “right” (and I use that term loosely) to degrade, criticize and tear apart with their own biased judgment, fears and projections.

I have been taught over the years to not “engage” when I hear these comments…. but if I don’t engage or defend what my own beliefs are on the matter, am I not colluding in the other person’s “story”? At what point do I stand up and say “this is not acceptable…and you are out of line”?

Time after time I see people on Facebook or other social media channels picking apart a teacher’s quote or maliciously making a snide comment to make the teacher appear out of integrity or even wrong. And why is this even necessary? Do these people who stand in the shadows and criticize others have the courage to develop their own research and studies; write books on their personal discoveries; travel exhausting schedules for talks or trainings; or put themselves on the line day after day to spark even one little flame within a stranger amidst the crowd? NO… they don’t…

Instead, they pick apart every word spoken to find fault and justification in their own minds for what they are condemning in a teacher/mentor’s words because they hide in their own shadows of disdain.

Are these people so naive as to think that EVERY book or word is an ORIGINAL thought? From the moment we are born we learn by imitation. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have heard Bob Proctor or Zig Ziglar joke about “borrowing” a story in their speech from one of their colleagues! Imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery!

We learn by imitating others from birth…and through experience and knowledge we pick up from family, friends, mentors, teachers and life.  This is a life long process.

Maybe it’s time people get off their self righteous soap boxes… and look within. Before spouting off a judgment or criticism about another, look at them as a mirror to see what is being reflected back to us for our own knowing. Listen to the words and ask yourself how they may resonate in your own life… I think you may be surprised at what you hear…

Independence Day

•July 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A mere 14 years ago I began a journey whereby I packed up my belongings, my sons and a new spouse, and said goodbye to my dream home ~ Rosewood Farm, outside of Atlanta, GA.  A new phase of my life was to begin out West in Las Vegas where we arrived with our fully loaded truck,2  Jack Russells and 1 cat over the Fourth of July weekend.  It was a scorching 118 degrees… but we were always told “it’s dry heat” (which somehow makes it better…lol).  Now – fast forward 14 years to Fourth of July 2011… and I have now finished moving my things to storage.  Once again I am leaving a city which has provided many life lessons and experiences.

I will call this new venture Phase 4… one which is free of anything outside of Self.  My sons are grown and successful young men; my spouse was long ago moved to the “file 13″ bin (yet I remain grateful for those lessons as well); my four legged companions graced me with unconditional love for their years on this plane; homes have been sold; life simplified; and all that remains is ME.  There are no longer any distractions to keep me from diving into the realms of deep personal discovery.  On one hand I feel so blessed and excited to begin this journey… and on the other hand, I’m shaking in my flip flops!

I am reminded of why I am on this path by these quotes from Swami Vasudevananda ~

  • May this book (The Heart of Meditation) encourage you to proceed joyfully on your inner journey with a courageous and adventurous spirit.
  • May you fearlessly ride the currents of grace all the way to your destination.
  • May your life be a blessing to this world.

Each day is an adventure… never look back or have regrets for each step has brought you to where and who you are now!

In-Joy!

Holly

Procrastination and Commitment

•July 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

It’s been over a week since I began my road tour across the country… and I am only now writing my first “trip” blog!  Yikes!

So far, I have experienced breath taking White Sand Dunes in New Mexico, driven through intense storms, witnessed a beautiful full moon with a dear friend in Texas, oohed and awed at the Guadalupe River in Kerrville TX, driven over swamp land in Louisiana and pine tree lined highways of Mississippi.  As I drew closer and closer to Atlanta my heart thumped when passing familiar exits of days gone by when I lived here.  The excitement of seeing my oldest son grew the closer I came to Midtown.  I barely know what day it is since so much has happened!

Most of my friends have asked me “why” I’m taking this 30+ days to drive, visit and reconnect with people, places and things from my past.  My immediate answer is-  “because I can”.  The deeper answer is – I have a deep yearning to explore my inner landscape by venturing through the outer landscape (some that is familiar and much that is new).

The fact that I’ve had little to no internet or cell service along the way is no coincidence…and hasn’t been lost on my inner knowing.  It’s been a good metaphor for my needing to “unplug”.  I am WAY too reliant on technology and staying “in touch”.  It has become a distraction, hindering my growth rather than helping it.  I realize “unplugging” is a real necessity for me at this time.

A book which insisted on joining me for this trip is “The Heart of Meditation” by Swami Durgananda.  Today being the first quiet day I’ve had to myself… I finally opened the pages and knew the purpose of my journey….devoting time to my own personal meditation each day in order to develop a basis for all inner work.  We all “say” we are going to do this…. but how often do we only do it “half way”?  I fully admit to never truly committing.  I seem to have taken procrastination to a new level as well as turning into a commit-a-phobe!  haha   How did this happen?  I used to be the perfect Type A personality… making lists of my lists and feeling exhilarated with every item I crossed off!

Well… the day has now come for me to re-commit to ME… and I make this commitment to everyone reading this.  I WILL put the technology aside each day in order to exercise my mind and body in meditation and yoga… even if it’s only for 30 minutes.

With that said… LET’S BEGIN!  Over and Out!

In-Joy!

Holly

How Do You Bounce Back From Disappointment?

•June 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I was taught from a young age to “reach for the stars”… with a Mother who told me I could do anything I set my mind to.  As a result, I’ve been fortunate to look at life in a positive light.

Of course, there are times I have been knocked down due to circumstances beyond my control but I have always gotten back up.  I would be lying if I didn’t tell you there were times over the last few years where I’ve been a little slower in getting on my feet with a smile again.  We all have those “lessons”… but I believe these are the times when our true character shines.  How are we going to react or respond?

When life hands you lemons ~ i.e. being passed over at work; someone who you are attracted to doesn’t respond in the same way; a family member turning their back on you; moving to a new city and wondering what the hell are you doing here; and on and on ~ how do you make lemonade????

Here are a few of my favorite stress busters ~

  • If anxiety rears it’s ugly head I stop what I’m doing, close my eyes, take a long deep breath in through my nose, then blow out the tension/stress through my mouth…and repeat until my mind is calm as well as my heart.
  • I steep a nice cup of white or green tea…creating a peaceful and regenerative ritual; observing all the blessings in my life.
  • I look around to see who I can lift up… such as the sales person at the 7-11; greeting each stranger I meet with a smile and “hello”; calling a friend just to say I was thinking of them; or sending a hand written note to someone special.  It’s the little things we take for granted each day that make a big difference in someone’s life.  How many times have you lit up when a friend compliments you unexpectedly?  It always gives me the warm “fuzzies”!
  • Then there are the tried and true activities to get your butt moving ~ a walk in nature or down a new trail; hitting the gym and sweating to Christina Aguilara’s “Dirty” CD; a quiet sun salutation in the early morning hours after waking to a new day and reading one of my many treasured books.
  • Or you could post a new blog like I’ve learned to do!  :-)

As Wayne Dyer has always shared ~ Change your Thoughts, Change your Mind.  Developing “tools” with which to adjust your mental state of mind and attitude are invaluable in bouncing back from the disappointing lemons of life.  Each of those lemons though can be transformed into the most delicious lemonade you could ever imagine!  All it takes is a little Sugar to sweeten the mix!  Add some “sugar” into your day, attitude and living…then stand back and watch the abundance pour in!

Make it a day filled with the sweet nectar of life!

In-Joy!

Holly

Photo courtesy of Marque Kelsey

 

 

 

Choosing Passion Over the Mundane

•May 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The sun tiptoes over the mountain ~ casting a bright yellow glow across the desert landscape… an interesting reflection of my life if I use it as an analogy.

Since my arrival in Las Vegas 14 years ago I have seen how the “light” in me has slowly dimmed with each passing year.  The passion I once enjoyed on my tranquil farm in Georgia was edged out as slowly as watching the grass grow.  So slowly in fact, I have only recently come to understand the extent of my loss.

I made a conscious effort 6 months ago to do “whatever it took” to make a change.   I felt lifeless inside even though from the outside no one would guess.  Can anyone relate?  Did the things that once stirred you appear to have dulled your once excited heart?

With each drive to Arizona this year I’ve felt my Spirit and excitement for “all that is” returning.  Passing through the Sonoran desert, majestic saguaro cacti and rolling mountains filled my “energy tank”, breathing life into my soul.  I now find myself taking deeper and more expansive breaths of air rather than the shallow, lifeless ones I’d become accustomed to.

It is the time of year when the desert begins to bloom in all its glory.  What a wonder it is to experience.  A week ago as I left Scottsdale, AZ, the saguaro cacti were budding out with the flowers just beginning to burst open.  I felt much the same way as the cacti, with my heart opening more and more every day.  Passion is returning…

You might be wondering how I could be feeling “awakened” since I’m moving from one desert landscape to another…but it’s more about my making the “choice” to change my life’s direction rather than WAITING for something outside of myself to do it FOR me.

We each make choices on a daily basis.  It doesn’t have to be a geographical change in where we live.  You could make simple alterations to your day to day routine, pumping new energy into a stagnant schedule.  What if – instead of grabbing your morning coffee and running out the door in a rush to get “somewhere” – you poured your morning brew into a favorite mug (environmentally friendly too); picked up the paper, magazine or uplifting book and then enjoyed a few minutes on your balcony or patio?  You could allow the crisp morning air and sounds of the birds chirping to introduce you to the day.  Imagine the health benefits!!  A quieter mind, lower blood pressure, reduced stress to name just a few!

It’s easy for us to slip into the mundane if we remain unconscious… but if we choose to live a “conscious” life… we have the ability to grow, learn from mistakes, be beauty and live a compassionate and passionate life.

What are you “choosing” for today?

In-Joy!

Holly

 
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